By Yarielka Arrieta Batista
For businesses to have a successful marketing strategy, they must first have a defined target audience. Along with making sure your brand reflects your business, who your brand targets is also an important consideration. Business owners who understand their target audience are successful at reaching customers who fit their niche and better understand who they can reach beyond that niche. At the end of the day, “target audience” is a way of defining the group of people you hope to bring into your business who will engage with the products and services you provide most.
Trying to reach everyone is “impossible and hard to do,” says 2017 YLAI Fellow Mariery Young, who recommends that “it is vital to work with a specific target audience in mind.” Mariery is the Panamanian founder of Mezclao Studio, a Latin American design studio focused on creating visual storytelling through brand identity, illustration, and surface design. Mariery works with a variety of industries to transform visions into reality.
Mariery attended the University of Panama. Although architecture was her field of study, her interest was in design. In architecture, Mariery learned a valuable lesson regarding design, “If you study design and understand the principles of design, you understand that form follows function.” This lesson influenced her interest in branding and illustration, a middle point between architecture and design.
Knowing your target audience
The mixture of different elements is a common theme in Mariery’s work. When thinking of a name for her studio, she wanted to embrace her diversity, culture, and interests. Eventually, she came up with the name Mezclao Studio, which means to “mix.” Mariery uses her unique tropical style of art to transform ideas into products.
When asked about her projects, Mariery shared that in 2021, 70% of her portfolio was composed of women-owned businesses, 60% Latinx-owned, and 100% of them were breaking stereotypes. Mariery’s clients reflect her target audience and are an extension of herself. By working with these groups, Mariery strategically attracts organizations striving to refine their brands.
The internet is vast, with more than a billion websites. It is for this reason that having a target audience is so crucial. The people who gravitate toward Mariery’s company believe in the work she produces because it reflects them. Being from Latin America gives Mariery a great sense of pride, and helping others promote their companies is something she enjoys doing.
Now that you understand what a target audience is and why it is necessary, the next step is to use the tools at your disposal to draw customers into your business.
Use the tools at your disposal
Understanding your target audience is a continuous process. To stay ahead of your competitors, you must ensure your business addresses the needs and wants of your customers. To do this, use the tools at your disposal to analyze your target audience. Several social media platforms and websites provide analytics regarding the demographics of your business and the interests of your customers. Utilizing these tools will allow you to modify your content and promote your products and services.
Aside from social media platform tools, such as analytics on Facebook or Twitter, you can find several tools online to help you narrow your target audience. Some tools on the web are free, while others must be purchased. One trick to remember when searching for the right tool is to take advantage of discounts and free trials. “For some applications, I use the free version, and if I feel that I am getting something from it, I will then pay for the app,” says Mariery. Another trick to remember before testing applications is to focus on an area you want to improve. In doing so, you will notice whether the application is beneficial to your business or not.
Insights from social media analytics can include information about the likes and comments on your posts or the location of your customers. It can even tell you how many people visit your site and engage with your products and services. “Most of my clients reach me through my website,” says Mariery. By tracking where most of her clients go to find her work, Mariery optimizes her page to meet the needs of her clients. Having this insight influences how you interact with customers, the language you compose, the images you choose, or even when you publish social media posts.
Create content for your target audience
After collecting the data on your target audience, the goal should be to create content for your ideal customer. In Mariery’s case, women-owned businesses and Latinx projects make up a large portion of her portfolio. The content found on her social media platforms and website highlight women’s empowerment in Latin America. Women-owned businesses interested in scaling up their brand feel comfortable reaching out to Mariery. Additionally, Mariery’s unique tropical style makes her products welcoming to a broad range of age groups. Her business presents a unique opportunity for companies to collaborate with her services. Understanding her target audience allows Mariery to be strategic about the content she crafts for her customers.
Creating content for the right social media platform is also important. Content needs to be composed differently depending on the social media platform being used. By understanding the differences in platforms, writing content for each will be more precise and you’ll be better able to reach your target audience. In the end, you want to ensure your content provides value to your target audience. Once you apply these tips and skills to address your target audience, you will be on the way to developing a stronger marketing strategy.
Thank you to Mariery for taking the time to share her story. If you would like to learn more about defining and creating your target audience, check out the #YLAIBrandBetter for more resources.
The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author or interviewees and do not necessarily reflect those of the YLAI Network or the U.S. government.